Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Five of the best books about medical breakthroughs

Mark Honigsbaum is a medical historian, journalist, and author of five books including The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris and The Fever Trail: In Search of the Cure for Malaria.

At the Guardian, he tagged some of his favorite books about medical breakthroughs, including:
In The Vaccine Race, Meredith Wadman describes how in the early 1960s scientists at Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute began working on a vaccine for rubella (German measles) using a controversial new method: germ-free cells from tissue extracted from an aborted foetus from a woman in Sweden. The Wistar cells were to revolutionise vaccine making, but ethical and political roadblocks meant it was 10 years before the institute was granted a patent, and it was not until 1978 that the Federal Drug Administration granted the pharmaceutical company Merck a licence for the vaccine in the US.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue